Tomorrow is my birthday, and it is always the time of the year when I feel unsettled by the celebration that usually accompanies it. Don't get me wrong, I truly do appreciate every gesture that my friends and family make when they want to appreciate me and the anniversary of the day I emerged from my mother's womb. However, I feel that people tend to make too much of a big deal about it, with every word putting more butterflies in my stomach.
I didn't fully understand why people make such a big deal about my birthday. Why do people have lavish parties celebrating what could instead just be one normal day? After all, your school doesn't care whether it's your birthday — classes go on as normal.
Some people may like the attention that they get for their special day, but for me, I feel confused, no, bewildered, with the immense amount of attention that is fixated upon me and magnified with a concave lens. It almost seems like people who celebrate my birthday treat me very differently just because it is the day that I happened to be born on.
To be honest, my own birthdays are something that I don't look forward to simply because of how unsettled I feel.
On the flip side, I tend to go out of my way to celebrate the birthdays of my close friends and immediate family. I don't feel as embarrassed or awkward as when it is my birthday being celebrated because the attention is not on me this time; the weight is shifted off me. It seems strange that my attitude instantly shifts — it's almost like I become a different person.
After taking some time to reflect on why people are showering me with so much attention and love, I realized that they are just trying to express how much they appreciate and respect me. In fact, I only realized this when I attended a few other birthday parties and was outgoing because I appreciated my friends so much that I wanted to celebrate this with pomp and show.
It still feels weird on my birthday when people are celebrating it, but the weirdness is reduced significantly. Instead of inching back into my shell, I try to become more outgoing and be more like myself. I am honored to have such loving friends and family that simply want to tell me, "Hey Shiva, I appreciate you, and thank you for being a part of my life!" in their own way. I guess I just have to let that feeling sink in tomorrow when a few of my friends show up. To my friends and family, thank you for appreciating me and for celebrating the moment when I finally entered this world.